Fire update as of Sunday 10am

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September 16, 2012

Wenatchee-A Public Meeting will be held at the Town Toyota Center on Sunday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3, a National Type 1 Management Team, headed by Incident Commander Jeff Pendleton, continues to manage this complex.  It was a busy Saturday night for firefighters as they took aggressive action to check the fire spread, provide structure protection and hold on to the successes gained by the day shift.

Aggressive suppression efforts will continue today with ground resources constructing fire line and attempting to hold what was constructed over the last few days. Two National Guard helicopters joined the suppression efforts Saturday along with 10 others, all of which are available to support ground operations and initial attack for new wildland fires today. Helicopters are flying out of Pangborn Field, the Chelan airport and from the Leavenworth area.

Smokey conditions are expected in the Wenatchee Valley and surrounding communities today. The smoke  should clear in the afternoon and allow aerial operations to resume. Winds overnight were gusty over the ridges with gusts to 20 mph coming out of the north. Winds today should be a little milder with northerly winds to 10 mph over the ridge tops.

An additional camp has been set up at the Entiat City Park.  Resources assigned to the First Creek, Byrd and Klone fires will work from Entiat to reduce travel time and increase time on the fire lines.

Canyon Fire, directly west of Wenatchee, continues burning in shrubs and grass and is approximately 8,040 acres. Overnight crews patrolled and provided structure protection. Today, firefighters will secure firelines and continue mop-up activities around structures. No structures have been lost on this fire. The Canyon Fire is considered 25% contained. Up-to-date information on evacuations can be heard on local media in Wenatchee or by checking www.inciweb.org/incident/3258.

Byrd Canyon Fire, is approximately 13,960 acres, and is located just north of Entiat, Washington.  The fire is burning in grass and shrub land. Sunday crews will continue to mop-up around structures and secure firelines. This fire is considered 45% contained.

Peavine Canyon Fire, located southwest of Wenatchee in upper Mission Creek/Devils Gulch, is burning in shrub and pine forest and is approximately 5,255 acres. Sunday, crews will continue to prepare control lines in the Liberty Beehive area, south to Mission Peak, for burnout operations when conditions are right. The USFS 7100 Road is being secured and will be used as a control line to prevent northerly movement. The objective is to keep the fire out of Pitcher Canyon. This fire is considered 5% contained.

Poison Canyon Fire, located south of Cashmere, is burning in shrub and pine.  It is approximately 3,000 acres.  Overnight, crews fought hard to keep the fire from moving North into Tripp Canyon and were partially successful. The fire did spot into the lower portion of the canyon in the vicinity of the intersection of Tripp Canyon and Mission Roads. Today crews will work to contain this spot and continue efforts to prevent the fire from moving into Tripp Canyon and west toward Camas Land. This fire is considered 10% contained.

First Creek Fire, located 10 miles west of Lake Chelan, is approximately 1,440 acres. It is burning in very difficult and steep terrain. Today, crews will continue line construction along the northeastern and western flanks and provide structure protection in First Creek and Granite Falls Creek.  The northerly spread was stopped Saturday, keeping the fire from crossing into the Twenty-five Mile Creek drainage. A Level 3 evacuation remains in place for First Creek and Granite Falls Creek. This fire is considered 5% contained.

The Pyramid and Klone Fires, north of Entiat, are approximately 317 and 225 acres respectively. These fires are burning in timber that has been severely impacted by disease and insects.  On Saturday these fires experienced increased fire behavior, and the Klone fire has now reached a point that requires aggressive suppression actions to protect 37 summer recreation cabins. Specific resources have been ordered to begin preparing contingency lines and to provide structure protection as the fire moves southeast toward the Entiat Valley.

The Incident Management Team continues to have initial attack responsibility for all wildland fires within Chelan County.  Resources will mobilize when there is a new start.

The area is extremely dry and conditions are right for rapid fire growth on existing fires and new fire starts. All outdoor burning is restricted and campfires are only allowed in designated campgrounds on Federal Lands. All outdoor burning including campfires are banned in all counties east of the Cascades through midnight, September 18, by Governor Chris Gregoire. Hunters and recreationists are asked to be aware of, and conform to, fire restrictions that are in place.

The Incident Management Team would like to express appreciation to the community for your support and help in our efforts to suppress these fires.  It is vital that the community cooperate with evacuations, road closures, and avoiding areas of high traffic for fire suppression.

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